At Home with Journalist and Sustainable Fashion Blogger Alden Wicker
At Home is a series observing personal journeys, through origins and current spaces. With each feature, we hope to inspire duality of relaxation and effort in the every day.
We immediately clicked with journalist and sustainable fashion blogger Alden Wicker (of acclaimed EcoCult), geeking out about sustainable fashion. We've since developed a close relationship, one of mutual adoration and support. It's been easy to support Alden, as a pioneer in the field of sustainability. Alden welcomed us into her beautiful Williamsburg home she shares with musician/architect husband, relics from their various travels, and a mellow rescue cat, Pancho.
Where are you from? What was a defining memory from your origin?
I grew up in North Carolina and then Maryland, and spent most of my childhood tromping around in the woods around our houses or flipping through Newsweek and Time trying to understand what the political cartoons meant. I was curious and adventurous, and my mother encouraged that. So much so, that after I had a full-body allergic reaction to poison ivy, she pulled on overalls and work gloves and tried to eradicate the poison ivy, so that I could continue to roam free. I went to a summer camp in the mountains of North Carolina that emphasized protecting nature and reverence for the lost wisdom of the area’s Cherokee tribe. Then a private school in Maryland that emphasized political action and took us on hiking and camping trips. All those experiences built the foundation for living a life of thoughtfulness, respect for nature, and activism.
What was your favorite travel memory and why was it your favorite? What did you take away from it?
I’ll never forget our trip to Australia when I was maybe 12 or 13 years old. It was incredible. My mom, sister and I roamed almost all over the continent for three weeks. We stayed at a resort on Heron Island at the Great Barrier Reef (RIP), which had a marine biology center whose biologists would give tours of the coral reef. We visited the rainforest in the north. And we road tripped – I saw forest fires and multiple rainbows as we drove south to Uluru, where we learned about Aboriginal culture. We met the dolphins in Monkey Mia, and I saw the Milky Way for the first time in the Outback. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of Australia, the sheer abundance of ecological systems and animals. That trip ruined all-inclusive resorts for me forever. When I travel now, I’m always pinging around, taking nature and culture tours and trying to learn as much as possible.
How do you reconcile the duality of relaxation and effort in your life?
Eh, I’m bad at this. I don’t relax well! I’m always doing, going. (Ask my husband. I scheduled two activities a day when we went to Costa Rica!) But I love learning, and find it refreshing to explore. If I’m sitting still, I’m reading. If I’m on vacation, I’m taking a tour. Even when I’m with friends, I’m trying to probe their mind and learn new things. It’s the journalist in me. Someday I’ll get to the point where I meditate every morning, even when I’m traveling. For now, I just go.
What is the one idea or concept you stand for and why?
Improvement. I believe we all can improve, and we can improve the systems that undergird our lives. That doesn’t mean always racing forward, but assessing where we are and figuring out how we can make things better–for us, for the planet, for animals, for other people.
How do you build a sense of calm in your personal space?
I’m a neat-a-holic. I’m always straightening, purging, organizing. If I’m having a bad day, sometimes I’ll just dump out a drawer and reorganize. I’ve been doing that since I was a little girl. I would be a professional organizer if I weren’t a writer!
Describe your personal style. How does it reflect back to your way of life?
Chic, young, French mom. On vacation, I morph into a contributor to 1970s Vogue at a Mediterranean destination. I like classic, easy cuts and styles that can be easily mixed and matched and are flattering to my curvy figure. And I love the 70s proclivity for throwing in jewelry and accessories from a variety of cultures on top of flow-y fashion. Also, I’ve decided my core colors are: white, black, grey, blue, and red. So French, right?
Where is your personal journey leading you to -- what’s next?
More writing for a wider range of outlets. I love investigative pieces that answer a question. And I’m really into truth seeking right now. I want to go where the facts lead me, even if it’s not what I want to hear!
Follow along Alden's journey here.
Shop the collection here.